GNSS simulator creates real-world scenarios for navigation instrument developers

July 16, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
The SMBV100A from Rohde & Schwarz supports the lab-based tests developers must perform on the receivers and components used in satellite-based navigation systems, such as testing location based services on smartphones, car navigation units and aircraft control systems. New options expand the range of functions of the GNSS simulator by adding a series of realistic scenarios.

Rohde & Schwarz' global navigation satellite system (GNSS) simulator runs on the R&S SMBV100A vector signal generator; the R&S SMBV-K101 option allows developers in the automotive and wireless communications industries to test GNSS receivers for specific effects such as obscuration and multipath propagation. Buildings, tunnels and bridges as well as reflections from concrete and glass surfaces affect the GNSS signal, regardless of whether the receiver is stationary or in motion. This option makes it easy to configure these kinds of scenarios.

If the GNSS receiver of a navigation instrument or smartphone is located inside a vehicle, testing must also take into account the obscuring effect of the vehicle's metal body. The R&S SMBV-K102 option can simulate this obscuration and, if required, also the additional antenna pattern.

In addition to test scenarios for A-GPS, smartphone developers also have the Assisted Galileo (R&S SMBV-K67) and Assisted Glonass (R&S SMBV-K95) options at their disposal. (Mobile radio networks transmit location-specific information to wireless devices via A-GNSS so that they can determine the current position faster.)

In many cases, navigation instruments handle signals of digital communications standards other than GNSS; the SMBV100A also supports these standards. Now, manufacturers of mobile phones and car radios with integrated GNSS receivers need just one signal generator to test multiple functionalities. The R&S SMBV100A can also be used to perform interference tests on the DUT.

Users in the aerospace and defence industry can use the R&S SMBV-K103 option to simulate the relative position of a flying object as well as its rotation at a rotation rate of up to 400 Hz. This allows developers to perform lab tests to determine how a flying object’s different positions, the ground reflection of GNSS signals and rotary movements affect reception quality.

The GNSS simulator in the R&S SMBV100A uses up to 24 satellites to generate signals in realtime for GPS with civilian C/A code and military P code as well as for